jen groeber: mama art

4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.

My Mother’s Letters

Mom, me, Butchie, sister, sister, Dad, brother Two years before my father got sick 1977

Mom, me, Butchie, sister, sister, Dad, brother
Two years before my father got sick
1977

I remember we had at least one television on all day and night for Butchie and he would scream in his stinking chair in the corner while cartoons blared. I remember we ate food that came from the freezer unless it came from a can or was spaghetti. I remember the stress and the yelling before any holiday gathering as we vacuumed and scrubbed and hid things away for company. It always felt like company was a bad thing. At least that’s how I remember it.

I remember because these things formed me.

The stories I told in Butchie’s eulogy included the time he choked on a hotdog at the kitchen table and it didn’t pop out of his mouth until my mother threw him down onto the table, yelling, “Breathe, Goddammit!” At the rest of us, “Keep eating!”

The day he pulled his G-tube out of his abdomen, covering the vinyl couch with stomach juices, my mother yelled to my sister, “Plug the hole!” while she loaded the other three of us into the Volkswagen bus and sped us all off to the hospital. This was our life, my mother ruling total chaos with an unyielding voice.

I don’t know what more I’d hoped to know about us. We’d mapped our chromosomes, found who was most like my brother Butchie, what there was to know about my sister’s disabilities. I’d been witness to my parents’ marriage, or at least 9 healthy years and 18 sick years before my father died. None of us had ever been in for therapy, but it felt like I knew enough. We all knew enough.

And then my mother brought me the letters. It was not just the letters between my parents: sweet, heartfelt pages filled with innocuous daily observations and deep yearning during their three years of courting and early marriage. There were also letters written by my mother to my grandmother and vice versa. They wrote almost every day, sometimes twice a day, for three years. To read these letters is to meet my mother at age 22. To walk into their dingy, newlywed military house, 500 miles from home. To understand what it meant to wait until pay day to buy a stamp to send a letter.

When you flip through these letters you feel their hands, hear their voices, the concern, the love, the humdrum boredom of Mr. Ed, the profound longing they also felt for one another, my mother an only child, my grandmother who’d try to do all she could in the face of a sour husband and life-long poverty.

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Nov. 1 1960

Dear Mom and Dad,

Received your letter of the 26th today…

 

May 31, 1961

Dear Bobbie and Bruce,

Received your letter of the 28th today…

 

August 1, 1962

Dear Mom and Dad,

Well- not next month but the following month I will be home…

 

August 2, 1962

Dear Mom and Dad,

Rec. your letter of the 30th today…

 

August 7, 1962

Dear Mom and Dad,

Am at the laundromat so will start writing…

I can’t sort through these letters. I can’t bear to read more than a few in one sitting and I can’t touch one page of a five page letter without reading the whole thing. They keep me up at night.

My mother and her mother, driving from New Jersey to California Summer, 1960

My mother and her mother, driving from New Jersey to California
Summer, 1960

May 19, 1961

Dear Mom and Dad:

Will start this letter now, while I am at work…

Last night I went to see Kay in the hospital and I drove to Fresno for hoagies (real live eastern type)… Tonight we are going to Bruce’s prom at Fresno (if I am not too tired), so I won’t be able to write tonight.

Here is the news:

Kay has a 8 lb 11 ½ oz. baby boy 5-17-61 y 4:00 p.m. I didn’t know about it until yesterday afternoon when her Mom called me at work. He’s fine, but Kay isn’t doing so good. She looks awefull and feels the same. They say she had a rough time of it. Dr. Rowe cut and cut, but not enough and she ripped to pieces when the body was born…

I am feeling fine, super-duper fine today… Every night I feel whoozy but am not sick, so it isn’t bad at all…

My mother is pregnant having just seen a postpartum woman for the first time. Later, after my brother is born, after the doctor uses high forceps to deliver him only to find the cord wrapped around his neck, and my mother is torn up and hemorrhaging herself, when Butchie failed to thrive, failed to roll over, my grandmother wrote one of the letters that breaks my heart.

Feb. 22, 1962

Dear Bobbie:

No letter from you today so this will probably be a short letter.

In my phone conversation with Mom G last night she said she knew you were holding something back from her about Butch. She suspected it was more than a heart murmur and can’t understand why you didn’t tell her. I told her it was not your fault as you wanted to write to tell her but Bruce wouldn’t let you do it because it would worry her. But she can’t understand why you two kids are acting like you are and she also said G. is very peeved at you and Bruce for upsetting her so. She said she had a letter written to you and was going to send you money for you and Butch to come home and live with her. All you would have to do would be to take care of Butch. Also she was going to take you to the best pediatrician and spend every last cent of her money if necessary to make Butch better. When she told G. he made her tear that letter up.

Also S. is very peeved and can’t understand why you didn’t bring the baby to Los Angelos for treatment…

Oh, she also said you were too independent. I heard that remark a few times last night. Also she wanted to know why Bruce never helps you…

My mother and Butchie May, 1962

My mother and Butchie, 6 months old
May, 1962

It goes on and on.

And I think-

I am alone.

I am alone in California, on this god-forsaken military base in 1961 where I am neither liberated nor caged. I love my beautiful husband, this man I don’t wholly understand but who rescued me from the lonely soulless life I was born to. I love my firstborn son. This will be okay, this must all be okay. I am not Job. Look, see? He drank the milk. Look, see? He raised his arm. Look, there. His eyes went to the light. See now? I don’t know why they say he is slow.

Year after year.

Sure he doesn’t talk, but he’s walking. He’s seven and he’s walking!

See now? Your sister can hear that sound with the hearing aid. With that new hearing aid. Now with that better hearing aid. And these glasses, this magnifying glass, this Visualtech machine. She can see all she needs to!

Year after year.

And the youngest one, he just marches to the beat of his own drummer! He’s smart, brilliant maybe. It’s the teachers. He’s just so disorganized. Doesn’t know which way is up! Can’t get out of his own way! But so smart…

Year after year.

Sure, we’ll set up that tube-feeding for your father at night and he can go to work in the morning. We’ll just make up that insulin shot. I’ll blend that formula, just like the kind you buy at the hospital which is too expensive anyway. And look how he’s gained weight! He weighs 120 lb.! He’s doing so great!

And on and on.

I am inside that life, that miserable Job existence. I will raise the five children and they will be fine. I will make this all right. I will make this work if I have to rage against it with the most saccharine platitudes, vicious glares, unrelenting voice.

I gasp. It takes my breath away.

Then I am myself again, 2014, fighting my own battles, lifting my own four children up only to put them down. Yelling at them, apoplectic, only to whisper my adoration.

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Me and my mother
Fall, 2013

I am my mother, and she is me. Each word on the page, typed or scratched. From her mother to my mother to me and on and on and on.

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(This post was inspired by a prompt from the amazing Rarasaur, for the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge. Check out Rara’s blog, and thanks for forgiving the loooong post.)

181 comments on “My Mother’s Letters

  1. Heidi
    January 30, 2014

    What a tribute to your Mom. Does she read your blog? Thank you for offering me the idea of compassion for my own mother’s seemingly insane responses to life situations.

    • jgroeber
      January 30, 2014

      Oh, dear one. We are such products of our parents! (And them of theirs, too.) It’s amazing how some things seem to carry on no matter what, although maybe we can break the cycle in some places, too.
      And I’m not sure my mother understands what blogs actually are (which I can totally respect because I didn’t really either until this past year!) although she does know I write.
      You’re a rock star for finding time to read these, busy Mama!

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  3. litadoolan
    January 30, 2014

    Lovely insight into the power of letters. Changing the way I see them. Also interesting to look at letters as a physical thing that persists. If that makes sense.

    • jgroeber
      January 30, 2014

      It’s wild that for the last 15 years my shifting “artist statement” for art shows has always had something about me being “an archeologist pouring over old photos with pencil in hand.” My mother’s letters feel like the most tender evidence of another time, maybe even a treasure. She could never tell me all I see in those letters.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      • litadoolan
        January 31, 2014

        It’s inspirational how your two worlds complement each other in the work your produce. The letters are most certainly a treasure. What an amazing resource. You have me looking back at my letters with a new eye. You are right the person never could tell all that is in the letters. Thanks!

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  5. Kelly
    January 30, 2014

    The letters…. I have a huge pile of letter from my mom and dad’s courtship and it is like reading about prehistoric life. Intellectually I know it happened but I can’t entirely wrap my mind around it. Lovely post.

    • jgroeber
      January 30, 2014

      Right? Who are these people who wrote these things?! I so wish I journal-ed throughout my life, or kept what I wrote, or perhaps had the words to say what I was feeling. Or wrote my boyfriend, now husband, real-mails instead of flirtatious e-mails. So trashy…
      Tonight, as I lay in bed with my oldest, he said, “I wish the days weren’t so fast.” Exactly! I told him he was going to start journaling soon, which is funny because he can’t read or write yet. 😉 Thanks so much for the props. Writing for a prompt feels very college essay for me. Ack!

  6. Perfection Pending
    January 30, 2014

    I only wish I had letters like that. Understanding my own mother at the age I am now would probably do me wonders. This is a WONDERFULLY amazing post. I loved it, and find myself fighting back the tears. This paragraph, “Then I am myself again, 2014, fighting my own battles, lifting my own four children up only to put them down. Yelling at them, apoplectic, only to whisper my adoration.” is me.

    • jgroeber
      January 30, 2014

      Thank you for this. A friend said that it made her feel emotional and I thought, “Oh, no. I’ve gone too far!” (I feel like I often go to far, alas.) But is it possible when it comes to mothers and motherhood? It’s such an important, exhausting, fulfilling, ex-haust-ing relationship. Did I mention I’m exhausted? I know you understand!

  7. jennsmidlifecrisis
    January 31, 2014

    Wow. I am in awe. No, really…You have such a strong yet sensitive voice!

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Thank you for your kind words and for visiting! Usually I’m a bit more of a wise guy. (Love the sassy green boots!)

  8. upsidediy
    January 31, 2014

    I don’t have letters, but I have my mom’s stories. Beautiful stories of love and war and death and life. I am the only one of five that is eager to hear the words pass her lips, yet I know I am not the favored one….Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing.

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Lovely that your Mom shares her stories and that you listen. I find myself forgetting even the most basic details of total family classics. I’ve begun to goad my Mom into writing down her reflections in a Mother/Daughter book I found on a sale rack at a book store. I need to pin them down to remember! (In fact, that’s why I started blogging. Because I was forgetting my own stories. Pathetic!) Thanks for visiting.

  9. segmation
    January 31, 2014

    What a wonderful wonderful blog! It made me cry! So Beautiful!

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      No tears! Read the post about being mother of the year. You’ll laugh in horror!! It can’t all be sad (although I did get a little choked up for some reason while writing this one!)
      Thank you so much for your kind words and for visiting.

  10. Farmer Farthing
    January 31, 2014

    This is beautiful and seriously tugged on my heart strings. Congratulations on being chosen hun, you deserve it xx

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      No, YOU deserve it! Loved your winning post, too!
      Thanks for stopping by.

  11. rottlm
    January 31, 2014

    wow, very touching story. wish I had the opportunity to know my mom and have a relationship.

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Thank you for stopping by. And thanks for the reminder to cherish my time with my mother, even when she drives me slightly bonkers. She’s a nut, but she’s my dear, dear nut. And she’s an amazing survivor.

      • rottlm
        March 29, 2014

        my pleasure, sorry for taking long to reply. out of the country.

  12. heathercoy
    January 31, 2014

    What a fantastic part of your history to be able to hold and explore! My parents divorced when I was about a year old; the few items I have of their time together are precious and absolutly priceless to me. Great post! Thank you for letting us peek into your world:)

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Thank YOU for stopping by and for the kind words.

  13. giselacarmona
    January 31, 2014

    Beautiful post, Jen… I’m officially a fan!

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      What a lovely thing to say! Thank you. Hope you keep stopping by. I’m loving the amazing way blogs connect us to people we might never get to know otherwise.

  14. simonedmcintyre
    January 31, 2014

    Reblogged this on simonedmcintyre.

  15. JudahFirst
    January 31, 2014

    Beautiful! What I wouldn’t give for a stack of letters my sister wrote now that she is gone. Recently my mom pulled out a couple years’ worth of letters from my brothers when they were in college (they didn’t write often, so even these are just a handful), but they couldn’t be more precious to me, even now (I still have my brothers for the time being).

    The written word is a treasure, an absolute treasure. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      My mother never wrote much after those few years in California while my father was in the military. But she did write a Christmas letter that shared all sorts of things that were going on in my wacky family and she wrote that every single year.
      Maybe our blogs are the modern attempt at capturing these things we lose so easily? Nothing beats those old pieces of paper though.
      Thanks for visiting!

  16. shannonosullivantrends
    January 31, 2014

    Great writer

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Than you. And thanks for visiting!

  17. ahmadwch
    January 31, 2014

    Reblogged this on ahmadwch and commented:
    great stuff! touching

  18. objectifemme
    January 31, 2014

    Reading this is just what I needed today… Thank you.

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Thank YOU for stopping by and for the kind comment.
      I think that may be exactly what I needed today. 😉

  19. crazycarefreelife
    January 31, 2014

    Those letters are a gift, and I am glad you are treasuring them. I wish I had some sort of keep sakes like that from my mom. They truly are precious.

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Right? I ended up with a portion of the letters because they were in a cardboard box in her basement when it flooded. I was absolutely horrified at the thought they could be ruined. Over the phone I was telling my Mom, “Now go to the basement right now. Forget everything else. Get the letters. Lay them out, one by one. Go to Michael’s Arts and Crafts and buy archival paper…” and on and on. They are precious indeed.

  20. VelanéDeBeauté
    January 31, 2014

    *I am my mother, and she is me. Each word on the page, typed or scratched. From her mother to my mother to me and on and on and on.*
    I loved it, totally. Trust me, I typed a comment thrice, just to delete it back because I couldn’t figure out where it was going. This was an amazing post, anyway, and it reminds me badly of the letters my parents wrote to each other while they were still in college.
    Rest assured, you’ve earned yourself a fan. Keep writing! ❤

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Thank you for the lovely words.
      I typed the post thrice, too! There are so many layers to how we are who we are, where we come from and what we pass down. I feel like I could write (and make art) about this every day and still not get to the heart of it. Right?

      • VelanéDeBeauté
        February 2, 2014

        Honestly!!! The mystery of mankind, in other words. 😛
        You’re welcome. 🙂

  21. beverlydm
    January 31, 2014

    First time reading your blog… WOW. That was a beautiful post; you can be sure that I will be going back to read all of your past posts. Glad for you that your Mom is still around and that you have the compassion and love to look beyond her shortcomings as a young, overwhelmed Mother and enjoy her company now.

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Yay! Welcome to my blog. I’d have straightened up a bit if I knew everyone was coming but…
      😉
      As I commented before, my Mom is a nut, but she’s my nut, and who can resist that? She was thrilled when I told her about the post yesterday. “Well, Mom. I don’t always describe our childhood in the cutest words, so… I may have described your voice as “unyielding”?” And she was still thrilled anyway!
      I can’t wait to read how my kids describe me someday. Zoiks.
      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  22. Dani
    January 31, 2014

    Mothers and daughters…such volatile things, aren’t we?

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Right? All the artwork and blogs in the world could be about this one thing, mothering (or parenting.) And we’d still never get to the root. Because it just keeps going on one generation after the other after the other and it’s absolutely essential, ex-haust-ing, but essential.
      Thank you for reading and commenting.

  23. princessdeloso
    January 31, 2014

    A very beautiful story of a family’s love and perserverance. Thanks so much for sharing this touching tribute.

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Thank you for stopping by and for the kind words. I talk about my father’s love in Lederhosen. I wouldn’t want to leave his heroic moments out of this Freshly Pressed celebration. He was pretty awesome, too.

  24. RFL
    January 31, 2014

    So happy to see this post get FP. Your words are lovely!

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Ah, thank you! And just to think, you were reading me when… (and hopefully you’ll still be reading me after the smoke clears.) It’s been totally odd having such a full mailbox. Thanks for stopping by!

      • RFL
        February 3, 2014

        I will absolutely be here when the smoke clears. You have one of the strongest new voices I’ve seen around here lately, and I’m glad you got the front page honor.

  25. Tonya R. Moore
    January 31, 2014

    Quite an amazing account. You wrote it beautifully.

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by. Hope to see you back here again!

  26. Mythoughts76
    January 31, 2014

    Thanks for the story!

  27. livmay
    January 31, 2014

    Reblogged this on january.

  28. Julia Benjamin
    January 31, 2014

    Love this. Love your writing.

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Thank you. Enjoyed checking out your videos, too. Thanks for stopping by!

  29. Grumpa Joe
    January 31, 2014

    Your mother is a Saint!

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      Ha! My Mom is a nut AND a saint, which is so much more interesting than just being one or the other. Life is complicated like that, I guess.
      Thank you for stopping by. I’ll tell my Mom you think she’s great. 😉

  30. derb523622013
    January 31, 2014

    Gosh, this was so moving. Lost my parents over the past 3 years. Wish I had letters. I find myself often feeling as if I am walking in the same paths they walked, feeling the same feelings. Your mother was and is a very, very strong person.

    • jgroeber
      February 1, 2014

      I am so lucky to have my Mom and some of her letters, too. It sounds so cliche, but growing up in a household with so much going on always made me appreciate that everyone was still with us. It grounds you somehow, having the “it could be worse” looming. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words.

  31. Julia Benjamin
    January 31, 2014

    I feel compelled to share something I wrote 2 years ago when I first tried writing a blog. This isn’t spam because I actually let it go and stopped caring if anyone read my blog. Its a memory piece too about family.

    http://andthekitchensinktoo.blogspot.com/2012/05/kenosha-wi.html

    • jgroeber
      January 31, 2014

      What I would give for video like the kind you had in that blog post. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for reading.

      • Julia Benjamin
        January 31, 2014

        Thank you for reading and watching! I look forward to reading more. I feel I found a kindred spirit here. 🙂

  32. Laxman Prajapati
    January 31, 2014

    Wow!!!!! very nice story… 🙂

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  33. Tara
    January 31, 2014

    Beautiful words. Thank you for sharing them.

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thanks for your kind words and thanks for stopping by!

  34. markvnathan
    January 31, 2014

    I absolutely loved this post! Letters truly are the most beautiful memories. That’s what inspired my blog, I write a letter a day to the girl I fell in love with, tho we may not speak that often any longer, I still do. I feel like words express feelings better than anything and the style of writing gives you an idea of who they were, not something you can pick up in a photo.

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      What a beautiful idea. Writing anything every day is inspirational for the rest of us who struggle to write even a couple times a week.
      I love words and how they allow us to circle back around on things, but I love those photos too, especially the old ones, and how they hold a multitude of possibilities.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      • markvnathan
        February 2, 2014

        Thank you. It takes effort and discipline, but when your heart needs to, it needs to!
        Do drop by when you have the chance 🙂

  35. saikumaar
    February 1, 2014

    nice

  36. incaunipocrit
    February 1, 2014

    Reblogged this on The International Blogspaper.

  37. barbequebanjaran
    February 1, 2014

    This is great. 🙂

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thank you! And thanks for stopping by to visit and comment. Hope to see you here again!

  38. rarasaur
    February 1, 2014

    So heart-felt, and well-written, and insightful, and just… just wonderful. Thank you so much for participating in the challenge, and giving us this reminder of love and connectivity. Congrats on being FP’d, chica– it’s much deserved! 😀

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thank YOU for the words of encouragement, the constant modeling of super-blog-power and especially for the awesome prompt. You chose something that could be meaningful for everyone and yet absolutely refreshing.
      Yay!

  39. DreamMatrix
    February 1, 2014

    Last year, when my Mom was killed, I had to sort throuh all her things. I found letters, stories, college papers and yes, poetry. I never knew she wrote anything other than journal entries. It made me wish I still had the letters she used to send me when I was a teen and lived with Dad. I found a one page journal-type entry on legal pad paper, all by itself. It was a 46-year-old piece of paper. She was writing down everything that happened the day she went into labor with me. Right before I was born, she found a 4-leaf clover. I have to wonder if that’s why she named me “Lindy” (Lucky Liindy). These papers I treasure. They are the her I never knew. I hope your Mother’s letrers are the same for you. 🙂

    Beautiful writing, thank you.

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thank you for that beautiful comment. That’s a work of art unto itself.
      I do treasure those letters and I’ve always hung onto old photos. There is something immutable about words and photos preserved like they are when memory is such a slippery thing.
      Reading your comment affirmed one of the main reasons I write in the first place, to allow my own children access to what i was thinking and seeing during their childhoods, although they tease me for it now!
      Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again here!

  40. awax1217
    February 1, 2014

    I have no pictures of me as a kid. Lost in the shuffle of a divorce or else they did not take any. In fact there is little record of my early life. I had a brother who passed at twenty eight. All I have of him is the memory of him. No pictures, nothing physical. So I envy you, you had it rough but you lived through it.

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I cherish the pictures and the words and the memories, too. Nothing is wholly one thing or another- a perfect childhood or a rough one. It’s generally a mish-mash of both if we’re lucky.
      I hope you’ve written down what you remember or passed stories on to surviving family. Although oral tradition feels more fragile, it’s amazing how we can keep people present in our lives through sharing memories.
      Thanks again!

  41. motherless2mom
    February 1, 2014

    I am speechless… moved beyond words. Thank you for sharing this.

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thank you for reading and for your kind words, really. It means the world to know I connected. Thank you.

  42. Huntress626
    February 1, 2014

    I really this this blog post. Very authentic. Thx for sharing.

  43. st sahm
    February 1, 2014

    This is beautifully written. What an incredible family.

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      What a name, St. SAHM. Love that. That should have been my mother’s name. Ha! Thanks for the kind words and for visiting!

  44. Oma's Heart
    February 1, 2014

    So glad I looked at freshly pressed today and can now follow you. This is absolutely beautiful. We are all victims of victims, and it’s lovely that you have a window into your mother’s heart through the letters. Would that we all had such a treasure…

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thank you, thank you for reading and following. We are all products of our environments. We have so many choices in who we become, but early on, maybe not so many choices on how we get there. In Resolution, my New Year’s post, I wrote about my husband’s belief that Daily Decisions Determine Destiny but my belief on how much I believe things just befall us, especially when I look at life through my mother’s point of view. I am just fascinated by the thought of how our spirit is formed, you know? And then I look at my children. Zoiks!
      Thanks again!

  45. rajalekh
    February 1, 2014

    absolutely awsome, great work ……….
    very jealous of you (for your writing)………
    miss you mom .

  46. vicosvic
    February 1, 2014

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and touching story!!!

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thank you for the kind words and for reading!

  47. Ben
    February 1, 2014

    Beautiful this! Brings a tear to my eye:)

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thank you for reading and for commenting. Hearing that people connect to a story is just the best feeling.

      • Ben
        February 2, 2014

        Your welcome:)

      • Ben
        February 2, 2014

        Than I have well maybe something for you too that you might wanna read:)http://cookingwithbenjamin.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/my-tragic-flaw-change/ something to think about maybe:)

  48. Blog With Ry
    February 1, 2014

    Oh! I love your post! It’s beautiful!

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thank you for stopping by and for the kind words. Hope to see you back here again soon!

  49. maesprose
    February 1, 2014

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. I love that you have these letters.

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      Thanks for stopping by. The letters are just priceless in so many ways. We can pass down stories but nothing beats the actual evidence that these things have come to pass. It’s like being able to look back in time through my mother’s eyes as a 23 year-old as opposed to a 78 year-old. I wish I had kept more of my own writing throughout the years. I’ve already told my six year-old that he’ll be starting a journal soon!
      Hope to see you back here again!

  50. Archie
    February 2, 2014

    The best legacies mothers can pass to their daughter is their undying love and unflinching strength. I’m glad your mother draws as much strength from you as you do from her.

    • jgroeber
      February 2, 2014

      What a lovely comment.
      It’s true we expect so much from our own mothers and also from ourselves but strength and love are the key.
      Thank you for visiting and commenting! Come again soon.

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